The school week from 9 until 14 November was the most violent and dangerous period for Egyptian universities since the 25 January Revolution, leading to dozens of injuries and arrests, according to a new report by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
The report by the Egyptian non-profit, released on Saturday, detailed the violent clashes between students and police that rocked campuses in Zagazig, Mansoura, and Assiut. The report also described administrative action taken against student protesters at Cairo University, Al-Azhar University, University of Damietta, Zagazig University, and Mansoura University.
According to the AFTE, police entered universities in Mansoura and Zagazig accompanied by men in civilian clothes, and used tear gas and birdshot to assault students protesting in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
The worst violence, as detailed in the report, occurred at Zagazig University in the Nile Delta between 11 and 13 November. On 11 November, administrative security accompanied by people in plainclothes used stones and fireworks to “assault” a march headed by the Students Against the Coup movement.
Student protests continued in Zagazig the next day, and in the early morning hours of 13 November, police raided the homes of several student leaders and arrested them. Later in the day, “unknown assailants” stormed the faculty of law building where a pro-Morsi demonstration was taking place. Two students were injured and taken to the hospital.
“The AFTE believes that the current phase taking place in the universities is the worst since 25 January 2011,” read the report. “It is the most dangerous in terms of the threat to the freedom of students and the independence of universities.
“In addition to threatening the lives of the students themselves, the current period is also a threat to the educational process.”
Violence continued at Zagazig University this week when, on Saturday morning, Central Security Forces attempted to disperse a strike organised by the students of the Faculty of Engineering.
The students organised the strike to condemn violence and the arrest of students from their homes. The students closed the doors of the Faculty of Engineering and stopped the midterm exams from taking place.